Joe Devera: Pompey needed a shake-up

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett in action against Crawley. Pictures: Neil Marshall

GALLERY: Crawley 1 Pompey 2

  • Devera made 80 appearances in two seasons after summer 2013 arrival
  • Among nine players released by Paul Cook on Monday
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Joe Devera bid farewell to Pompey and admitted: The club needed a shake-up.

The versatile defender was one of nine out-of-contract players to be shown the door by new boss Paul Cook on Monday.

Personally, I had a better season than my previous one and if I was to stay on then it would have been great – but I just think it needed a shake up

Joe Devera

After 43 appearances during an improved second season from Devera, there are Blues followers who would have liked him to remain.

Regardless, he joined Dan Butler, Wes Fogden and Ryan Taylor among the surprise departures instigated by the ruthless Cook.

It ends a two-year spell at Fratton Park for the 28-year-old, having been signed by Guy Whittingham.

Yet there are no grudges from a player who has applauded Cook’s approach in ripping up the underachieving Blues.

He said: ‘To be honest, I sort of knew this was coming.

‘I knew it needed a shake-up and with a new manager coming in I wasn’t really surprised.

‘I have to say, I was expecting it.

‘I’m sure the new manager is going to bring in plenty of good players, he’s a good manager and respected.

‘I think what they are doing in terms of clearing out the squad is on the right track.

‘Personally, I had a better season than my previous one and if I was to stay on then it would have been great – but I just think it needed a shake up.

‘Paul Cook is going to come in and bring his own culture to the club, which is needed.

‘He gave me a phone call on Saturday, it was a quick conversation and we wished each other all the best.

‘That was it really. No hard feelings, definitely.

‘Mark Catlin rang me up as well to give me his best wishes. He’s a nice bloke.

‘I’ve left on good terms and really hope the fans can get the success they deserve. It’s a fantastic club.’

Devera rattled up 80 appearances for the Blues since his arrival in the summer of 2013.

Memorably, his first and only goal arrived from long range in a 3-2 win over Stevenage back in October 2014.

Whereas former team-mate Taylor has a contract on the table from Oxford United and is also reportedly interesting Millwall, Devera is unsure what the future holds.

At present there is nothing in the pipeline for a player who dropped from League One to arrive at Fratton Park following his release from Swindon Town.

Still early days, though, and Devera is certainly not alone in what will once again be a busy free agent market this summer.

He remains optimistic of getting himself fixed up again soon.

He added: ‘I’ll just have to wait and see what happens, hopefully I will get a new deal somewhere.

‘When I was a bit younger I used to stress out about being out of contract but it’s the normal thing, it’s part of football.

‘I’ll play the waiting game and hope something crops up.’